Rise in Galloway unemployment figures again

The news that unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway has bucked the national trend with yet another increase, highlights the importance of this week’s local jobs summit, according to Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown.

The latest statistics published by the Office National Statistics (ONS) today show

3,322 people in the region were claiming Job Seekers allowance in July 2013, a rate of 3.7 per cent. Last month the figure sat at 3,256 a rate of 3.6 per cent. The increase comes at the same time as the UK rate fell from 3.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent, the fifth month in a row there has been a reduction.

Earlier this month Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown called on local agencies and politicians of all parties to come together to discuss the jobs and low pay crisis facing the region. The meeting organised by the local MP will be held tomorrow and involves local politicians and also representatives from the Department of Works and Pensions, Dumfries and Galloway Council, DG Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, Business Gateway, Dumfries and Galloway College , NHS Dumfries and Galloway and local training providers.

The figures also show that youth unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway local authority area has increased. The Job Seekers Allowance claimant count for July 2013 for those aged 16-24 years old in the region stood at 985, a rate of 8.9 per cent compared to a Scottish average of 7.4 per cent and a UK average of 6.2 per cent. Last month the figures stood at 935, a rate of 8.5 per cent.

Responding to the figures, Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “It is pretty clear that at time there has been a steady, albeit slow, fall in unemployment across the UK, Dumfries and Galloway is bucking the national trend. It used to be that we had an unemployment rate consistently below the UK average, but not anymore. These figures will come as no surprise to anyone as there has been a spate of high profile job losses across the region in recent months. The figures make the forthcoming jobs summit even more important. For too long I think people have been in denial about the jobs and low pay crisis facing Dumfries and Galloway and we need politicians, business and local agencies coming together to work together firstly to accept that our region has a major problem and secondly to look for solutions”.